AC-130 Hercules 'Spectre'

AC-130 Hercules 'Spectre'


AC-130H SpectreAC-130U Spooky

Die primêre missies van die AC-130H Specter-vuurwapen is naby lugondersteuning, lugverbod en gewapende verkenning. Ander missies sluit in omtrek- en puntverdediging, begeleiding, landing, val- en ekstraksiesone, voorwaartse lugbeheer, beperkte bevel en beheer, en bestryding van soek en redding.

Hierdie swaar gewapende vliegtuie bevat syvuurwapens wat geïntegreer is met gesofistikeerde sensor-, navigasie- en brandbeheerstelsels om chirurgiese vuurkrag of gebiedsversadiging te bied gedurende lang periodes, snags en in ongunstige weer.

Gedurende Viëtnam het geweerskepe meer as 10 000 vragmotors vernietig en baie lewensreddende missies vir lugondersteuning verdien. AC-130's het vyandige lugweerstelsels onderdruk en grondmagte aangeval tydens Operasie Urgent Fury in Grenada. Dit het die suksesvolle aanval van Point Salines -vliegveld moontlik gemaak deur middel van lugdruppel en vliegveld van vriendelike magte.

Die vuurwapens het 'n primêre rol gespeel tydens Operation Just Cause in Panama deur die hoofkwartier van die Panamese weermag en talle bevel- en beheergeriewe te vernietig deur chirurgiese gebruik van munisipaliteite in 'n stedelike omgewing. As die enigste lugsteunplatform in die teater, het Specters die lewens van baie vriendelike personeel erken.

Tydens Operation Desert Storm het Specters lugmagbasisverdediging en nabye lugsteun vir grondmagte verskaf. AC-130's is ook gebruik tydens Operations Continue Hope en United Shield in Somalië, wat noue lugondersteuning bied aan die grondmagte van die Verenigde Nasies. Die vuurwapens het onlangs 'n deurslaggewende rol gespeel tydens operasies ter ondersteuning van die NAVO-sending in Bosnië-Herzegowina, wat lugbepaling bied teen belangrike doelwitte in die Sarajevo-gebied.

Die AC-130 is 'n uitstekende platform vir vuurondersteuning met uitstekende vermoëns. Met sy uiters akkurate brandbeheerstelsel kan die AC-130 met 105 mm, 40 mm en 25 mm ammunisie op die teiken geplaas word met akkuraatheid in die eerste ronde. Die bemanning van hierdie vliegtuie is uiters vaardig in militêre operasies in stedelike terrein [MOUT] omgewings.

Die Lugmag herdenk die einde van 'n era van 10 September 1995 met die uittrede van die eerste C-130-vliegtuie wat van 'n produksielyn af kom. Die vliegtuig, stertnommer 53-3129, is in 1953 by die Lockheed Aircraft Co in Marietta, Ga, in produksie begin en was die oorspronklike prototipe van 'n lang reeks C-130 Hercules-vliegtuie wat deur Lockheed ontwerp en gebou is . Die vliegtuig, wat met liefde 'The First Lady' genoem is, was een van die vyf AC-130A-kanonvliegtuie wat tydens 'n amptelike seremonie afgetree het. Terwyl die ander vier vliegtuie na die Aerospace Marketing and Regeneration Center by die Davis-Monthan-lugmagbasis gestuur is, het die First Lady permanent in die Eglin Air Force Base Armament Museum vertoon. Die 919ste Special Operations Wing se gewerskepe, ongeveer 40 jaar oud, het die ouderdom van verpligte aftrede bereik. Die enigste ander skutskepe in die lugmagvoorraad word gebruik deur aktiewe lede op Hurlburt Field, met minder as 20 gewerskepe.

Die AC-130H ALQ-172 ECM Upgrade installeer en verander die ALQ-172 met 'n lae bandstopvermoë vir alle AC-130H-vliegtuie. Dit wysig ook die ALQ-172 met voorstel vir ingenieursverandering-93 om verhoogde geheue- en vluglynherprogrammeringsvermoëns te bied. Die lugmag [WR-ALC/LUKA] het 'n enigste bron, vaste pryskontrak, aan International Telephone & Telegraph (ITT) uitgereik vir die ontwikkeling van lae bandstoor en daaropvolgende produksie. Skryf 'n mededingende, vaste vaste prys kontrak vir die aanpassings van groep A (berei vliegtuie voor om struikers te ontvang).

Tans gefinansierde gewigsvermindering en verbeterings in die swaartepunt (CG) vir die AC-130H-vliegtuie sluit in: herontwerp van 40 mm en 105 mm ammunisierakke met ligter gewigmateriaal, omgekeerde ontwerp van 40 mm en 105 mm opleibare geweerhouers met ligter gewig en verwydering van nie-kritieke wapenrusting. Hierdie pogings word uitgevoer deur 'n enigste bronkontrak wat aan Rock Island Arsenal toegeken is.

AC-130U Spooky

Die nuwe AC-130U Specter-gewerskip word voortgesit in die voortreflike gevegsgeskiedenis van sy-afvuur AC-130 gewerskepe, as 'n plaasvervanger vir die AC-130A vliegtuie. Hierdie program verkry 13 nuwe basiese C-130H-vliegtuie vir aanpassing en integrasie deur Boeing in die AC-130U Gunship-opset. Die vliegtuigraamwerk van die AC-130U is geïntegreer met 'n pantserbeskermingstelsel (APS), sensors met hoë resolusie (All Light Level Television (ALLTV), infrarooi opsporingstel (IDS) en stakingradar), lugvaart- en EW-stelsels, 'n gesofistikeerde sagteware-beheerde vuur beheerstelsel en 'n bewapensuite wat bestaan ​​uit sy-afvuurbare, oefenbare 25 mm, 40 mm en 105 mm gewere. Die stakingradar bied die eerste gewerskipvermoë vir die verkryging en staking van alle weer/nagteiken.

Die verkrygingsprogram vir hierdie nuwe vuurwapen het ontstaan ​​uit 'n mandaat van die kongres in die middel van die tagtigerjare om die spesiale operasionele magte te laat herleef. Na die kontrak toekenning aan Rockwell in Julie 1987, is die vliegtuig vir die eerste keer op 20 Desember 1990 gevlieg. FY92 se verkrygingsfinansiering is verhoog om die 13de vliegtuig te voorsien om die AC-130H wat tydens Desert Storm verlore geraak het, te vervang. Na voltooiing van 'n volledige vlugtoetsprogram by Air Force Flight Test Center van 1991 tot 1994, is die eerste vliegtuig op 1 Julie 1994 by AFSOC afgelewer. Boeing se kontrak sluit in: gelyktydige ontwikkeling, vliegtuigproduksie, vlugtoets en aflewering. Alle vliegtuie is afgelewer en die program gaan oor na die instandhoudingsfase. 'N Mededingende kontrak vir volhoubaarheid is in Julie 1998 toegeken.

As gevolg van die sukses van die vliegtuig in Operation Enduring Freedom, het die lugmag begin met die aankoop van nog 4 ekstra AC-130U-vliegtuie, wat deur FY 2006 afgelewer moet word.

Operation Enduring Freedom het uitgebreide gebruik van AC-130U "Spooky" vliegtuie gebruik om spesiale operasies en grondmagte te ondersteun. Ondanks die feit dat dit by vriendelike vuurvoorvalle betrokke was, was die vuurwapens baie belangrik vir die lugveldtog omdat dit oor die slagveld kon ronddwaal en geleenthede bereik het. Hierdie vliegtuie trek baat by 'n onlangse ingenieursprogram by die Air Force-akademie, wat maniere bepaal het om die AC-130-vliegtuigraamwerk te stroomlyn, die weerstand te verminder, die loer-tyd te vergroot en die infrarooi handtekening van elke vliegtuig te verminder. AFSOC pas ook AC-130U-vliegtuie met 'n videokoppel om video direk af te laai vanaf 'n wentelende roofdier-UAV, waardeur die skutskepe doelwitte direk kan aanval eerder as om eers te sirkel om die teikens vas te stel.

Die AC-130U is vandag die mees komplekse vliegtuigwapenstelsel ter wêreld. Dit het meer as 609,000 reëls sagtewarekode in sy missierekenaars en lugvaartstelsels. Hierdie swaar gewapende vliegtuig is die nuutste toevoeging tot die bevelvloot en bevat syvuurwapens wat geïntegreer is met gesofistikeerde sensor-, navigasie- en brandbeheerstelsels om chirurgiese vuurkrag of gebiedsversadiging te bied gedurende lang periodes, snags en in ongunstige weer. Die sensorsuite bestaan ​​uit 'n All Light Level Television -stelsel en 'n infrarooi opsporingstel. 'N Multimodus-stakingradar bied uiterste langafstand-teikenopsporing en -identifikasie. Dit is in staat om 40 mm- en 105 mm -projektiele op te spoor en presiese impaklokasies aan die bemanning terug te stuur vir latere aanpassing aan die teiken. Die brandbeheerstelsel bied 'n Dual Target Attack -vermoë, waardeur twee teikens tot een kilometer van mekaar gelyktydig deur twee verskillende sensors aangewend kan word, met behulp van twee verskillende gewere. Geen ander lug-grondaanvalplatform ter wêreld bied hierdie vermoë nie. Navigasietoestelle sluit in die traagheidsnavigasiestelsel (INS) en die globale posisioneringstelsel (GPS). Die vliegtuig sit onder druk, sodat dit op hoër hoogtes kan vlieg, wat brandstof en tyd bespaar, en groter reikafstand moontlik maak as die AC-130H. Verdedigende stelsels sluit 'n stelsel van teenmaatreëls in wat kaf en fakkels vrystel om infrarooi geleide lugafweermissiele teen radar te bestry. Ook infrarooi hitte wat onder die enjins gemonteer is, versprei en verberg enjinhittebronne vir infrarooi geleide lugafweermissiele.

Die AC-130U P3I-program ontwikkel en bewerk modifikasies wat sagteware- en hardeware-tekorte van die AC-130U-vloot wat tydens vlugtoetse ontdek is, regstel en wat buite die omvang van die oorspronklike FY86-kontrak was. Hierdie wysigings sal die volgende insluit: kombineer alle nodige sagtewarevereistes vir die System Integration Test (SIT) -stelsel en hardeware- en sagtewareverbeterings vir die APQ-180-stakingradarstelsel, upgrade die Tactical Situation Map, verbeter die kernlugvaart en rekenaars wat nodig is vir die multi-missie gevorderde taktiese terminale/geïntegreerde installasie van verdedigingsavionika -stelsel, gradeer die EW -suite op en verander die sagteware/hardeware wat nodig is vir die opleibare geweerhouers. Die lugmag vervang die 40 mm-geweer, uniek aan die AC-130, met die 30 mm GAU-8 om logistieke probleme te verlig.

Die AC-130H/U, AAQ-26 Ingrared Detection Set (IDS) Upgrade-program verander die optika op die AN/AAQ-17 Infrarood Detection Set (IDS) wat tans op 13 AC-130U en 8 AC-130H Gunship-vliegtuie geïnstalleer is na die AN/AAQ-26 opset. Die AC-130U-bedrading, Operational Flight Program (OFP), Control Displays Program (CDP), Trackhandle, busvermenigvuldiger (BMUX), bedieningspanele en funksie met 'n veranderlike stadige tempo sal gewysig word. Die AC-130H sal ook aangepas word. Ondersteuningstoerusting, onderdele en tegniese data vir albei vliegtuie sal soos nodig aangepas word om die AN/AAQ-26-opset te ondersteun. Missievereistes bepaal 'n aansienlike verbetering in die opsporing, herkenning en identifikasie van teikens om die kwesbaarheid van vliegtuie te verminder. Raytheon het 'n enkele aansporingskontrak vir vaste pryse ontvang vir ontwerp, aanpassing en installasie, met die onderstuur van Lockheed Aerospace Systems Ontario (LASO) vir integrasie van die AN/AAQ-26 op die AC-130H en Rockwell vir sagteware-integrasie van die AN/AAQ-26 op die AC-130U.

Die US Special Command Operations (USSOCOM) het 'n vereiste vir 'n C-130-enjin-infrarooi (IR) handtekeningonderdrukkingstelsel om die spesiale operasionele magte (SOF) C-130-vliegtuie te voorsien van 'n IR-handtekeningvermindering gelykstaande aan of beter as bestaande stelsels by 'n laer koste van eienaarskap. Die primêre probleme met huidige onderdrukkerstelsels is lae betroubaarheid en swak instandhouding. Hierdie C-130 enjin-infrarooi onderdrukking (EIRS) programstelsel word gebruik op vliegtuie AC-130H/U, MC-130E/H/P en EC-130E. Die belangrikste vereistes vir die motor -IR -onderdrukkingstelsel is: (a) verbeterde betroubaarheid en instandhouding oor bestaande stelsels, wat tot laer totale eienaarskoste kan lei (b) IR -handtekeningonderdrukkingsvlakke so goed as die huidige enjinskermstelsel (ook bekend as bad) ( c) geen nadelige gevolge vir die vliegtuig se prestasie en die vermoë om SOF -missies te verrig nie (d) volledige uitruilbaarheid tussen enjinposisies en geïdentifiseerde vliegtuigtipes. Die onderdrukker sal na verwagting 'n semi-permanente installasie wees, met die verwydering hoofsaaklik vir diens, sodat die vliegtuig alle vereiste missies kan uitvoer met die onderdrukkers geïnstalleer. Daar sal tot twee mededingende kontrakte toegeken word vir die aanvanklike ontwikkelingsfases, met 'n afname aan een kontrakteur vir die voltooiing van ontwikkeling en produksie. Die kontrak bevat vaste prysopsies vir die verkryging, installering en instandhouding van die stelsel.

Die Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) -program ontwikkel en verkry 60 stelsels en bied 59 SOF-vliegtuie (AC-130H/U, MC-130E/H) 'n DIRCM-stelselvermoë. Die DIRCM-stelsel werk saam met ander selfbeskermingstelsels aan boord om die oorleefbaarheid van die vliegtuig teen die tans ontplooide infrarooi geleide missiele te verbeter. Groei word beplan om gevorderde bedreigings op te spoor en teen te werk. Die uitvoering van hierdie program is in ooreenstemming met 'n gesamentlike ontwikkelings-/ produksiepoging in die VSA/ VK, met die Verenigde Koninkryk as hoof. Die ontwikkeling en verkryging van die DIRCM -stelsel sal in ooreenstemming wees met die Britse verkrygingswette/-regulasies. Die Britse aanwysing vir hierdie program is "Operasionele noodvereistes 3/89." Aan die einde van 1999 het Lockheed Martin die kontrak gekry om Northrop Gruman AN/AAQ-24 (V) Nemesis DIRCM-stelsels op Amerikaanse vliegtuie te installeer. Die AN/AAQ-24 verwar vyandige IR-opsporingsmissiele deur IR-energie, wat deur ligte lampe opgewek word, op die IR-soeker van die missiel te rig. Northrop Gruman het alle vervaardigingswerk wat verband hou met die AN/AAQ-24 voltooi, vroeg in 2001 aangekondig. Voortgesette navorsing wat verband hou met die Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) -program, sal 'n laser-gebaseerde DIRCM ontwikkel wat later in die dekade uitgevoer sal word.

Vanweë sy sukses tydens Operasie Enduring Freedom, het die Lugmag planne begin oorweeg om AC-130 te verbeter en sy primêre rol beter te vervul. Verbeterings en vervangings moet op die slagveld kan ronddwaal en akkuraat, doeltreffender en meer reageer op 'n meer presiese, intense vuurkrag op 'n platform van 'n platform wat meer oorleefbaar is as die AC-130. Omdat die AC-130 laag en stadig vlieg, is die lugmag bekommerd dat die AC-130 veral kwesbaar is vir die nuwe SAM-bedreiging. Voorstelle om die AC-130 te verbeter, sluit in die integrasie van 'n stand-off aanval vermoë in die vorm van Hellfire- of JSOW-missiele, die toerusting van die AC-130 om UAV's te beheer en/of te lanseer vir herkenning en aanval, en die vervanging van die AC-130 met 'n geweerskip op 'n ander platform gemonteer. Voorstelle sluit in 'n AC-17, wat hoër kan vlieg, vinniger kan vlieg en meer vrag kan dra as die AC-130, en die skep van 'n nuwe, sluipende vliegtuigraamwerk. Lugmagbeplanners beweeg weg van die 'alleen-wolf'-mentaliteit van AC-130-gewerskepe wat alleen werk, na 'n' wolfpack'-mentaliteit waar gewere 'n aantal bates, insluitend UAV's, UCAV's en slim wapens, sou beheer om aanvalle te koördineer. Die volgende generasie geweerskip kan 'n vlieënde moederskip vir UAV's wees. Die AC (X) -program is besig met 'n analise van alternatiewe fase.


AC -130 Hercules 'Spectre' - Geskiedenis

Die Lockheed AC-130H/U is 'n vastevlerk, syvuurende lugskut wat naby lugsteun, lugverbod en kragbeskerming bied. Sluit lugsteun missies sluit in troepe in kontak, konvooi begeleiding en stedelike operasies. Air interdiction missies word uitgevoer teen voorafbeplande teikens of teikens van geleenthede. Dwing beskerming missies sluit in die verdediging van die lugbasis en die verdediging van fasiliteite. Sekondêre missies sluit in gewapende verkenning, voorwaartse lugbeheer, beperkte bevel en beheer, en bestryding van soek en redding.

Gedurende die vyftigerjare is die C-130 Hercules oorspronklik ontwerp as 'n aanrandingsvervoer, maar is dit maklik aangepas vir 'n verskeidenheid missies, insluitend weerverkenning, herwinning van die lugruimkapsel in die lug, soek en redding, lanseer van drone en brandstof in die lug helikopters. Die AC-130H "Spectre" en AC-130U "Spooky II" is Hercules-transporte wat omskep is in kanonskepe, hoofsaaklik vir nagaanvalle op grondteikens.

Oorspronklik is C-130A's omskep in kanonskepe tydens sy Project Gunship II en die opvolgprogramme, Projects Plain Jane, Surprise Package en Pave Pronto. Die prototipe AC-130A (#54-1626), wat voorheen JC-130A aangewys is, is gedurende 1967 getoets by Eglin AFB, FL en in Suidoos-Asië. Dit was 'n basiese C-130A met die byvoeging van vier 7,62 mm General Electric XMU-470 miniguns, vier 20 mm General Electric M61 Vulcan-kanonne, 'n analoog vuurbestuurrekenaar, 'n nagwaarnemingsapparaat (NOD) of Starlite Scope, 'n "broodbord" -rekenaar en 'n soeklig van 20 kW. Project Gunship II was 'n groot sukses.

In 1968 is nog sewe JC-130A-vliegtuie omskep, alhoewel dit toegerus was met beter Texas Instruments AN/AAD-4 Forward-Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR), 'n Singer-General Precision-vuurbeheerrekenaar, 'n Texas Instruments Moving Target Indicator ( MTI) en ander toerusting om die huidige produksiestandaard C-130A te bereik. Hierdie vliegtuie is laat in 1968 na Suidoos-Asië ontplooi. Hulle is in die geheel swart geverf en ook bekend as "Plain Janes", om hulle te onderskei van die "Surprise Package" en "Pave Pronto" AC-130As.

Die enkele "Surprise Package" AC-130A was toegerus met twee 40 mm Bofors-kanonne (in die plek van die agterste paar 20 mm Vulcans), General Electric ASQ-145 Low-Level Light Television (LLLTV), 'n Konrad AVQ-18 laser-aanwyser/ afstandsmeter en 'n nuwe AYK-9 digitale vuurbeheerrekenaar. Hierdie omskakeling met 'n vuurwapen was nog 'n groter sukses as die voorheen!

Die "Pave Pronto" AC-130A's was almal gebaseer op die "Surprise Package" -ontwerp, maar bevat ekstra toerusting, waaronder 'n AN/ASD-5 Black Crow Direction Finder Set om die uitstoot van die ontstekingstelsel van Russiese vragmotors te bepaal. Hierdie tien vliegtuie is eers in die tipiese Viëtnam-kamoefleringskema in Viëtnam geverf, maar later is die onderkant en die sye swart geverf. Alle AC-130A's het dikwels ALQ-87 ECM peule of SUU-42A/A Ejector Pods (stuurboord vir fakkels, bak vir kaf) onder die vlerke gedra.

As gevolg van die beperkings op die C-130A-vliegtuigraamwerk, is 'n nuwe program opgeneem met die lae-tyd C-130E as basis vir die omskakeling van die geweer. Elf C-130E's is omskep met dieselfde toerusting en bewapening as die "Pave Pronto" AC-130A, en het bekend geword as die "Pave Specter" AC-130E. Die eerste vliegtuig het in Oktober 1971 in Suidoos -Asië aangekom.

Vanaf 1973 het Project Pave Specter II al die AC-130E's, behalwe een, opgegradeer met nuwe Allison T56-A-15 turboprops, die nuutste radio-, lugvaart- en ECM-toerusting, 'n 105 mm Howitzer-kanon en ingevulde brandstofaanvulling. Hierdie vliegtuie is herontwerp AC-130H.

Meer as 'n dekade later, in 1986, is 'n ander Hercules -skietprogram begin. Dertien nuwe C-130H-vliegtuie is by Lockheed aangeskaf en daarna aangepas met verbeterde bewapening, lugvaart, gevegsbestuur sensors en teenmaatreëls. Die gevolglike geweerskipvliegtuig is aangewys as AC-130U en het in 1995 in diens geneem.

Op 10 September 1995 herdenk die Lugmag die einde van 'n era met die uittrede van die eerste C-130-vliegtuie wat van die produksielyn af kom, stertnommer 53-3129. Dit is vervaardig deur Lockheed in 1953, en is met liefde die 'First Lady' genoem en was een van die vyf vliegtuie AC-130A wat tydens 'n amptelike seremonie afgetree het. Terwyl die ander vier vliegtuie na die Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) by die Davis-Monthan-lugmagbasis in Arizona gestuur is, het die "First Lady" permanent in die Eglin AFB-bewapingsmuseum in Florida vertoon. Let wel: Die prototipe AC-130A geweerskip (#54-1626) is in 1976 afgetree en word tans in die USAF Museum by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio vertoon.

'N Totaal van 43 C-130 vliegtuie is omskep in gewerskepe:

Die formidabele AC-130 gewerskepe het 'n indrukwekkende gevegsgeskiedenis. Tydens Viëtnam het hulle meer as 10 000 vragmotors vernietig en baie lewensreddende missies vir lugondersteuning gekrediteer. Na die einde van die Viëtnam -oorlog sien hulle aksie tydens die poging tot redding van die bemanning van die USS Mayaguez (1975), Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada (1983), Operation Just Cause in Panama (1989), Operation Desert Storm in Iraq (1991) ), Operation Restore Hope in Somalia (1993-1994), en Operation Deliberate Force in Bosnië (1995).

Alhoewel die AC-130-skietprogramme as baie suksesvol beskou is, was die stadig bewegende vliegtuig baie vatbaar vir grondvuur. Gevolglik het agt AC-130's tydens gevegsoperasies verlore gegaan. Die eerste slagoffer het plaasgevind toe stertnommer 54-1629 oor Laos geslaan en neergestort het tydens 'n landingspoging in Ubon, Thailand. 'N Tweede AC-130 val in die vyand se vuur oor Laos in April 1970. Die derde en vierde verliese het binne die lente van 1972 binne enkele ure plaasgevind, en 'n vyfde is 'n paar weke later neergeskiet terwyl hulle vriendelike magte ondersteun het tydens die beleg. van 'n Loc in Suid -Viëtnam. 'N Sesde geweerskip is in Desember 1972 oor Laos neergeskiet. Altesaam 75 bemanningslede het in die AC-130-sending in Suidoos-Asië verlore gegaan, voordat vyandelikhede in 1975 geëindig het. Sedertdien het twee ander AC-130's in Koeweit en Somalië geval. .

Op 31 Januarie 1991 het die eerste AC-130H in die geveg verlore gegaan terwyl hy koalisiemagte ondersteun het wat tydens die geveg van Khafji in Operation Desert Storm betrokke was. 'N Tweede vliegtuig wat operasies ondersteun in Somalië het op 15 Maart 1994 verlore gegaan toe die 105 mm -kanon ontplof het terwyl die vliegtuig in die lug was. Die agt oorblywende AC-130H "Specter" -skutskepe vlieg steeds saam met die 16de spesiale operasie-eskader (SOS), deel van die 16de spesiale operasievleuel (SOW), by Hurlburt Field, Florida.

Die AC-130U, algemeen bekend as "U-Boat", is vandag die mees komplekse vliegtuigwapenstelsel ter wêreld. Dit het meer as 609,000 reëls sagtewarekode in sy missierekenaars en lugvaartstelsels. Dit is die nuutste toevoeging tot die bevelvloot, die nuutste in 'n lang reeks swaar gewapende, kantskutende gewerskepe en word die naam "Spooky II" genoem ter ere van die eerste geweerskipmodel, die AC-47D. Alle ander AC-130's word 'Spectre' genoem. Die prototipe AC-130U (#87-0128) het sy eerste vlug op 20 Desember 1990 gemaak. Die aanvanklike vlugtoetsperiode duur tot 21 Desember 1991 en bestaan ​​uit 48 toetsvlugte, altesaam 165 uur.

Die "Spooky II" -skutprogram bestaan ​​uit 13 nuwe Lockheed C-130H-vliegtuie wat deur Boeing aangepas is met verbeterde bewapening, gevorderde sensors, 'n Hughes APG-180-vuurbeheerradarstelsel, GPS, die ALQ-172 elektroniese teenmaatreëlsisteem, 'n ALR-56M radarwaarskuwingsontvanger, 'n APR-46A-panoramiese ontvanger en 'n AAR-44 infrarooi waarskuwingsontvanger wat geïntegreer is met 'n reeks ALE-40 kaf- en amp-flensers. Die aanpassings stel die vliegtuig in staat om die hele reeks spesiale operasies en konvensionele wapensendinge te verrig, snags en in ongunstige weer. Hierdie vliegtuie het ook die vermoë om vir lang periodes oor teikens rond te sit, terwyl hulle presiese vuurondersteuning bied.

'N Multimodus-stakingradar bied uiterste langafstand-teikenopsporing en -identifikasie. Dit is in staat om 40 mm- en 105 mm -projektiele op te spoor en presiese impaklokasies aan die bemanning terug te stuur vir latere aanpassing aan die teiken. Die brandbeheerstelsel bied 'n Dual Target Attack -vermoë, waardeur twee teikens tot een kilometer van mekaar gelyktydig deur twee verskillende sensors aangewend kan word, met behulp van twee verskillende gewere. Geen ander lug-grondaanvalplatform ter wêreld bied hierdie vermoë nie.

Die doelgerigte toerusting wat in die vuurwapen geïnstalleer is, sluit 'n gevorderde All-Light Level Television (ALLTV) -stelsel in met 'n laserverligter, laserdoelwyser, laserafstandsoeker, infrarooi opsporingstel en nagvisbrille vir die vlieëniers. Navigasietoestelle sluit in die traagheidsnavigasiestelsel (INS) en die globale posisioneringstelsel (GPS).

Die syvuurwapenreeks bestaan ​​uit een 25 mm GAU-12 Gatling-geweer (wat 1,800 rondes per minuut afvuur), een 40 mm L60 Bofors-kanon (met 'n kiesbare afvuurstempo van enkele skote of 120 rondes per minuut) en een 105mm M-102 Howitzer kanon (skiet 6 tot 10 rondtes per minuut). Verdedigende stelsels sluit 'n stelsel van teenmaatreëls in wat kaf en fakkels vrystel om infrarooi-geleide lugvliegtuigraketten teen radar te bestry. Ook infrarooi hitte-skilde wat onder die enjins gemonteer is, versprei en verberg enjinhittebronne vir infrarooi-geleide lugafweermissiele.

Die AC-130U sit onder druk, sodat dit op hoër hoogtes kan vlieg, wat brandstof en tyd bespaar en groter reikafstand bied as die AC-130H. 'N Invulvermoë word ook voorsien.

Alle AC-130U's word tans aan die Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) toegewys en dien saam met die 4de SOS, deel van die 16de SOW, op Hurlburt Field, Florida.


Geen vyand het in 30 jaar 'n Air Force AC-130 geweerskip neergeslaan nie. Hier is hoekom

'N Boeket blomme het verlede Vrydag in die helder son op 'n gedenkplaat by Hurlburt Field gestaan, waar die eerste spesiale operasievleuel 'n seremonie gehou het ter herdenking van die grootste enkele lewensverlies vir die lugmag in Operation Desert Storm.

Dié verlies het 30 jaar gelede, op 31 Januarie 1991, plaasgevind toe 'n AC-130H Specter-vuurwapen-een van die dodelikste vliegtuie van die Lugmag vir ondersteuning van grondtroepe-onder die roepsein Spirit 03 deur 'n Irakse oppervlak neergeskiet is 'n lugmissiel tydens die slag van Khafji.

Al 14 vlieëniers aan boord is dood, maar een generaal van die lugmag het geskryf dat hul opoffering gehelp het om 'n nuwe era van die AC-130 in te lui, een waar nuwe tegnologie en taktiek gehelp het om te verseker dat geen geweerskip sedertdien verlore gegaan het nie.

'Ons is baie dank verskuldig aan diegene wat alles opgeoffer het aan boord van Spirit 03, nie net omdat hulle' die laaste volle mate van toewyding 'vir ons gegee het nie, maar ook omdat hulle ons op 'n kritieke punt in die geskiedenis die beslissende motivering om die AC-130 vir 'n nuwe uitdaging en 'n nuwe eeu, 'het genl.maj. Genl. Mark Hicks, 'n loopbaanvliegtuigvlieënier, in die somer-uitgawe van 2014 geskryf Air Commando Journal.

'N Gedenkplegtigheid vir Spirit 03 vind plaas op Hurlburt Field, Florida, 29 Januarie 2021. Spirit 03, 'n AC-130H Specter-vuurwapen met 14 bemanningslede, is tydens die Slag van Khafji neergeskiet, wat die grootste enkele verlies tot gevolg gehad het deur enige Lugmag -eenheid tydens Operasie Desert Storm. (Foto van die lugmag / Senior lugvliegtuig Miranda Mahoney)

Hicks se verslag verduidelik nie net die impak van Spirit 03 se ongeluk op die AC-130-gemeenskap nie, maar ontken ook sommige van die mites wat uit die noodlottige tragedie ontstaan ​​het.

Dit is wat gebeur het: op 29 Januarie 1991 het Irakse troepe suid uit Koeweit getrek en die grensdorp Khafji, Saoedi -Arabië, aangerand. Volgens die afgetrede hoofmeester, sers. Bill Walter, 'n veteraan in die Desert Storm wat 42 jaar in die AC-130-gemeenskap gedien het en 'n gedetailleerde verslag oor Spirit 03 se ongeluk geskryf het Air Commando Journal in 2012.

Koalisietroepe is oorrompel en teruggetrek na Khafji, maar twee Amerikaanse spanverkenningspanne is binne die stadsgrense agtergelaat, het Walter geskryf. Gedurende die nag van 30 Januarie en die oggend van 31 Januarie het twee AC-130H-gewere met roeptekens Spirit 01 en Spirit 02 ingedring om Irakse wapenrusting en voertuie te vernietig, maar hulle het 'n stywe vuurwapenvuur teëgekom.

'N Derde AC-130, Spirit 03, het 'n paar uur later opgedaag en nog 'n paar uur lank om die stryd gewag terwyl hy gewag het, het Walter geskryf. Uiteindelik het Spirit 01 en 02 afgeskil om terug te keer na die basis, en Spirit 03 aangeraai om dieselfde te doen, aangesien die vuurwapenversterking toegeneem het, maar die derde geweerskip het steeds die doelwitopdrag van 'n seevaartvliegtuig wat oor Khafji vlieg, aanvaar.

Spirit 03 het 'n grenspos opgeskiet wat Irakse soldate as bedekking gebruik het, maar teen 06:00 het Spirit 03 se brandstof min geword toe daglig kom. Tog het die bemanning aanhou skiet op teikens, selfs al het dit 'bingo' -brandstof verklaar, wat beteken dat dit net genoeg gas gehad het om terug te keer na die basis, het Walter geskryf. Op 'n stadium het die Marine -lugbeheerder vermoed dat 'n Free Rocket Over Ground -stelsel in die gebied 'n bedreiging vir die mariniers kon inhou, sodat Spirit 03 dit gaan soek het.

Toe gaan dinge vinnig suidwaarts.

'N AC-130 Hercules-vliegtuig bank aan die linkerkant naby Hurlburt Field, met rook sigbaar uit die roterende kanon, tydens skemeroperasies in 1988. (Foto van die lugmag / tegn. Sers. Lee Schading)

Sonder waarskuwing het 'n klein Irakse oppervlak-tot-lug-missiel met die vliegtuig se linkervleuel gebots en 'n vlerkvuur naby die eksterne brandstoftenk begin, het Walter geskryf. Aanvanklik het die vlieëniers kapt Thomas Bland en majoor Paul Weaver beheer oor die vuurwapen gehandhaaf, maar toe die brandende brandstof versprei, het twee derdes van die linkervleuel afgebreek en die vliegtuig baie buite beheer laat draai. Die uiterste G-magte het redding byna onmoontlik gemaak en die vliegtuig het in die vlak waters van die Persiese Golf neergestort.

Dit het 'n maand geneem om die ongeluk te vind, en die vertraging het intense bespiegelings aangevuur oor wat gebeur het, het Hicks in sy artikel geskryf: 'Die spekulasie, aangevuur deur ons hartseer, frustrasie en woede, het legendes gebring wat tot vandag toe voortduur. . ”

Een van die eerste mites was dat die vlieënier, maj. Weaver, te gretig was om gevegte te sien nadat hy dit misgeloop het tydens die inval in Panama in 1989 in Operation Just Cause, het Hicks geskryf. Daar was ook die mite dat die vliegtuigbeampte die gevaar van die opkomende son ignoreer en heldhaftig sterf in die verdediging van mariniers wat die gevaar loop om oorval te word.

Nie een van die verhale is heeltemal waar nie, het die generaal geskryf.

'Albei verhale bevat gedeeltelike feite, maar is ietwat misleidend,' het Hicks geskryf. 'Die feit bly staan ​​dat Spirit 03 deur 'n vyandige wapensisteem neergeskiet is terwyl hy gedoen het wat ons hulle gevra het en presies soos ons hulle opgelei het om te doen. ”

Daar was geen tekens van onbevoegdheid of roekelose heldhaftigheid in die optrede van die bemanning nie, het Hicks geskryf, en daar was ook geen dringendheid om die FROG -stelsel te vind nie, het hy gesê. Die bemanning het wel 'n taktiese fout begaan deur in 'n gebied met 'n groot bedreiging met 'n agtergrond te bly sonder om die risiko te regverdig, maar daar was ook tekortkominge in opleiding, tegnologie en taktiek wat bygedra het tot die verlies.

Op die tegnologiese front was die sensors en brandbeheerstelsel verouderd en fyn, behalwe op die presiese regte hoogte en lugsnelheid, het Hicks geskryf. Dit beïnvloed die taktiek en vlugroetes wat deur AC-130-vlieëniers gebruik word, wat die bemanning kwesbaarder maak vir vyandelike vuur. Nog erger, toe 'n AC-130 onder skoot kom, was die verouderde opvlamstelsel van die vliegtuig nutteloos teen later-generasie man-draagbare oppervlak-tot-lug missiele. Verdedigingsverbeterings was lankal agterstallig, en Hicks het geskryf.

In die jare wat volg op Desert Storm, het wysigings moderne kaf- en opvlamdispensers, waarskuwings vir die aflaai van infrarooi rakette en moderne elektroniese teenmaatreëls ingesluit, en#8221 het hy bygevoeg.

'N AC-130 Specter-vuurwapen skiet vuur oor die speelarea by die Capex (Capabilities Exercise) 3 Junie 2011, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. (Lugmagfoto / Airman 1ste klas Ericka Engblom)

In 'n e -pos aan Task & amp Purpose, het hoofmeester, sers. Bill Walter het verduidelik dat alle vliegtuie AC-130 na Desert Storm met 'n AN/AAR-44-raketbenadering-waarskuwingstelsel beskik. Daardie stelsels bespeur manlike draagbare lugverdediging (MANPADS) raketlanseerings, waarsku spanne oor die bedreiging en ontplooi outomaties fakkels. Hierdie stelsel werk sonder bemanning, wat kosbare sekondes bespaar.

Die ineenstorting van Spirit 03 het die wydverspreide implementering van hierdie tegnologie gemotiveer, het Hicks gesê, maar hulle sou nie veel van 'n verskil gemaak het sonder om beter taktiek te ontwikkel nie. Bemannings het weer daarop gefokus om hul blootstelling aan vyandelike vuur te verminder terwyl hulle los, onvoorspelbare wentelbane om die gevegsgebied vlieg, wat ook na hoër hoogtes gegaan het en hul kans om getref te word, verminder het.

They also cut out unnecessary crew communication procedures, used better navigation systems and night-vision goggles, and got used to breathing through oxygen masks to keep working at high altitude in the AC-130’s unpressurized cabin. These abilities gave crews more flexibility to maneuver and find targets while in combat.

“Again, improved fire control and better sensors really helped, but it was a commitment to be tactically sound that really made the difference,” Hicks wrote.

Walter expressed a similar view.

“The fundamental lesson learned is to always expect to be fired upon when firing,” he told Task & Purpose. “This rule dates back to the earliest days of AC-130 gunship employment. Though the crew of Spirit 03 was well trained in that aspect, the sun was breaking over the horizon to their east, likely preventing visual acquisition of the inbound MANPADS missile.”

“Had the crew been able to see the inbound missile, maneuvers and decoy flares would have likely defeated it in a similar way it did for two other AC-130 crew during [Desert Storm],” he continued. “Unfortunately, nobody saw it coming.”

However, it was also important to avoid over-correction, Hicks cautioned. Some members of the AC-130 community over-reacted to Spirit 03 by avoiding daytime missions entirely, he said. While the slow-moving Spectre is more vulnerable to enemy fire during daylight, Hicks said avoiding daytime missions cost ground troops vital air cover during combat in Afghanistan. Spectres flew in daylight a year before Desert Storm, during Operation Just Cause, Hicks pointed out, and even night-flying isn’t completely safe.

“We must always balance our personal survivability, and that of the aircraft we fly, against the utility of the mission—and that decision is the commander’s business,” Hicks wrote.

Airmen with the 1st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron move a tree to avoid contact with the tail of an AC-130H Spectre on Hurlburt Field, Fla., Aug. 15, 2015. More than 40 personnel with eight base organizations were on site during the tow process. The AC-130H Spectre will be displayed at the north end of the Air Park. (Air Force photo / Senior Airman Meagan Schutter)

Unfortunately, Spirit 03 was not the last AC-130 crash. Three years later, in 1994, a Spectre with the 16th Special Operations Squadron crashed off the coast of Kenya when a high-explosive round detonated prematurely in the bore of the aircraft’s cannon. Eight crew members died immediately, and a ninth died of his injuries years later. That loss carried its own lessons-learned, and over the past 30 years not a single AC-130 has gone down in combat, even through thousands of combat hours during the Global War on Terror.

While the Spectre gunships were retired in 2015, subsequent AC-130 models such as the Spooky, Stinger II, and Ghostrider continue to apply the same lessons learned after Spirit 03 went down.

“The AC-130 community went to Desert Storm ill prepared for combat on a modern battlefield,” Hicks said. “We had grown complacent over years of peacetime operations, permissive environments, and little investment in modernization … It was the combination of the motivating impact of the loss of Spirit 03 and advanced technology that enabled the renaissance in tactics through the 1990s, that set conditions for the golden age of the AC-130 gunship in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Walter echoed that sentiment.

“The series of events leading to the loss of Spirit 03 has been studied at great length and is currently part of the training syllabus for AC-130 crew training,” he told Task & Purpose. “The lessons passed on to crews trained since that fateful day are the true legacy of Spirit 03.”

The crew members of Spirit 03:

Maj. Paul Weaver
Capt. Thomas Bland Jr.
Capt. Arthur Galvan
Capt. William Grimm
Capt. Dixon Walters, Jr.
Senior Master Sgt. Paul Buege
Senior Master Sgt. James May II
Tegnologie. Sers. Robert Hodges
Tech Sgt. John Oelschlager
Personeel Sers. John Blessinger
Personeel Sers. Timothy Harrison
Personeel Sers. Damon Kanuha
Personeel Sers. Mark Schmauss
Sers. Barry Clark

Featured Image: An AC-130U Spooky gunship from the 4th Special Operations Squadron flies over Hurlburt Field, Fla., on Aug. 24, 2007, during training. (Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Emily S. Moore)


AC-130 Hercules 'Spectre' - History

NEW: " No Way to Treat A Lady " first hand account Combat Story!

This particular aircraft (Air Force Serial number 53-3129) was the first production "Hercules" built. Die & quotFirst Lady", as it is known now (Also first known as
& quot The Arbitrator" , was rolled out in Marietta, Georgia on March 10, 1955. It was first flown a few weeks later on April 7th. Conversion to "gunship" configuration (AC-130A, "Spectre") was completed in December, 1968. She is now prominently displayed at the USAF Armament Museum just outside of Eglin AFB, FL. in the final AFRES configuration (grey paint, black markings, 4-blade Hamilton Standard props.) Download pdf of 1st Lady final in-flight photo

At first glance, AC-130A "Spectre" Gunship, Tail Number 53129, resembles all the other A-model Hercules gunships that were assigned to the 919th Special Operations Wing (Air Force Reserve) at Eglin AFB Field 3 (Duke Field), Fla. But, she's different. She's The First Lady, the first production model C-130 Hercules aircraft manufactured for and later accepted by the U.S. Air Force. The First Lady went into production at the Lockheed-Georgia Aircraft Company, Marietta, GA in March 1953, the original prototype of what was to become a long line of C-130 Hercules designed and built by Lockheed.

According to Lockheed-Georgia's public relations officer, now retired Joseph Dabney, the First Lady's original tail number was LAC 3001. Air Force officials changed it to 33-129 and later, to 53129. Georgia Governor Marvin Griffin, with a bottle of Chattahoochee River water, christened "The First Lady", as Lockheed's first C-130 Hercules, during formal ceremonies March 10, 1955. She first lifted off the Lockheed-Georgia Co. runway on April 7, 1955. A week later on April 14, 1955 she suffered serious damage while returning from a test flight when an engine fire broke out. the fire continued to burn and burned the entire left wing off just after the crew evacuated on landing. The aircraft was accepted by the USAF on October 28, 1958. On July 17, 1961, she was redesignated as a JC-130A and modified by Temco Aerosystems and assigned to the 6515 Test Squadron at Patrick AFB, FL where she flew missions for NASA over the Air Force Eastern Test Range.

Conversion to the AC-130A Gunship II configuration was completed December 2, 1968 by LTV Electrosystems at Greenville, TX. This configuration included four M-61 20mm cannons and four GAU-2B 7.62mm miniguns. Die First Lady was the seventh and last of the original seven C-130As converted to AC-130As. Die First Lady started flying combat missions from Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, assigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. During the next three years she flew over 3,000 hours of combat time with the 16th Special Operations Squadron on truck-kill missions along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. During this time, she received damage from AAA on four different occasions, 27 March 1969, 19 February 1970, 18 April 1970, and 26 Mar 1971. During her last flirt with disaster she was hit by a 74mm shell which exploded just aft of her nose wheel, inflicting serious damage not only to the wheel but also to the area beneath her flight deck. Despite serious damage to her structure and to her hydraulic and electrical components, the venerable First Lady limped back to her home base to be patched up. In May 1971, she returned to LTV and was upgraded with Surprise Package configuration which deleted two of the 7.62mm miniguns, two 20mm cannons and added two 40mm Bofors cannons. Following this modification, she was assigned to the 415th Special Operations Training Squadron at Hurlburt Field for training gunship crews. On July 25, 1975, the first Lady was assigned to the 711th Special Operations Squadron at Duke Field. While at Duke Field, the First Lady participated in operation Uphold Democracy in Panama. Die First Lady was retired in 1996 with over 13,600 flying hours. She now resides at the USAF Armament Museum at Eglin AFB, FL.

DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- Airplanes are not like a clock that is wound up and runs until the mainspring is fully unwound. Some, like the "First Lady," just keep on ticking.

The "First Lady" is the first production C-130, and the grand old plane of seven original C-130s converted to AC-130A gunships during the Vietnam war. Air Force records state that it was a Vietnam aircrew who, because of their affection for the plane, named tail number 33-3129 the "First Lady."

"These AC-130A's have stood the test of time. The "First Lady," in particular, has been flying for 40 years and 13,600 hours," said Col. Jack W. Blair Jr., commander of Duke Field's 919th Special Operations Wing.

Still, Blair said it was no great surprise that this version of the "Spectre" gunships should finally have to retire.

The AC-130A is retiring because it's not supportable," Blair explained under the shade of the "First Lady's" wing. "Our industrial base in this country is working with technology of the '80s and '90s now. And with the C-130, you're talking about technology that was developed in the '40s."

"There's just no way to legitimately support this airplane," Blair said.

Even with its age and need for regular maintenance, he said, the King of Jordan wanted to buy the "First Lady" a few years ago when he saw it at an air show.

Blair said it's sad about the retirement of the AC-130A's, but times change and so must aircraft.

The 919th SOW has already started actions to convert to the MC-130E Combat Talon 1 and the HC-130 Combat Shadow. Base officials said the Wing has already been flying Shadow tankers. The Talon 1 flies infiltration and resupply of special operations forces, while the Shadow is used to refuel special operations forces helicopters.

The 919th SOW will eventually have eight Talons and four Shadows to replace its AC-130A gunships.

As with the rest of the Air Force, change often means a drawdown. Duke Field will lose 12 reservist positions and 68 full-time positions, in part, say officials, because Talons and Shadows need fewer crew members than the AC-130A gunships.

The 919th SOW's 711th Special Operations Squadron is the only Reserve unit to fly the AC-130A's, and the only unit, active or Reserve, owning and flying the A-model gunships. On the active side, the 16th Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, Fla., flies updated versions of the "Spectre" gunships.

"In a very real sense, this is the end of an era," said Master Sgt. Darrell Klein, who's worked as a flight engineer on the "First Lady" and other AC-130A's for nearly 20 years.

Prior to the Sept. 10 retirement ceremony at Duke Field, the "First Lady" and four other gunships were decked out in all their splendor so former and current Reserve crew members could make one last pilgrimage to be with their beloved airplanes.

Klein climbed into the "First Lady's" cockpit to sit in silence for a while. And then he said -- with more tears than sweat on his face -- that there's a "simple joy" in just being with it.

For others who paid homage, there has been one constant at Duke Field -- stars, stripes and the "First Lady." Many of these reservists can say the "First Lady" was their "first" aircraft because the plane was assigned to the 711th SOS 20 years ago -- back in July 1975.

Not often, however, does an Air Force unit get to have closure with either fellow workers or any aircraft. Because of the nature of their job -- often being assigned to one base for their entire Air Force career -- some reservists at Duke Field had the opportunity to have a beginning, middle and an end -- to have closure when the "First Lady" and the other AC-130A gunships retired.

After the "First Lady" made one final flyover of Duke Field on Sept. 10 -- and then landed in the middle of four other AC-130A's -- its engines roared and suddenly stopped. With a last breath, its propellers whipped the balmy Florida air, cooling the people who were cheering it.

Offering his own personal testimony, Maj. Gen. Robert A. McIntosh, chief of Air Force Reserve, told more than 1,000 people during the retirement ceremony that he greets the "First Lady" each morning in his office at the Pentagon. He explained that a painting of the "First Lady" hangs on his wall.

Because of the nature of the 919th SOW's mission at Duke Field, McIntosh said he couldn't give all the details of what these gunships did during Vietnam, and more recently in Desert Storm and Operation Uphold Democracy. But he did say they are legend.

Suffice it to say the "First Lady," "Ghostrider," "Exterminator," "Azrael-Angel of Death" and "Jaws of Death," have good reason for their nicknames. The AC-130A was an awesome flying machine in its day. An aerial "tank," the gunship had a potential firepower of 11,200 rounds per minute. Armament capability includes two 20mm Vulcan cannons, two 40mm Bofur cannons and two 7.62mm mini-guns.

There were 14 crew positions on the AC-130A: pilot, co-pilot, navigator, flight engineer, fire control officer, electronic warfare officer, two sensor operators, illuminator operator and five gunners.

Officials explained how the gunships were developed during the 1960s for close air support and vehicle interdiction, supporting the Army and other ground troops. As the gunship evolved into the present-day sophistication, it also became useful in armed interdiction and reconnaissance, armed escort, forward air control and search-and-rescue operations.

Not surprisingly, these gunships and their crews were often placed in harm's way.

Maj. Gen. James L. Hobson, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, praised the reservists and the AC-130A's who flew in Vietnam and recent conflicts. Hobson said they were "always dependable and ready for action in any place." High praise coming from the man who commands one the most exacting fighting forces in the world.

Because these planes and their crews have been through some very tough fights in their day, there are scars.

The "First Lady," for example, had her nose shot off in Vietnam when a 37mm shell destroyed everything below the crew deck. Blair said all the hardware in the front of the aircraft had to be repaired. Afterward it was 100 percent, except for a "shimmy."

"She said doggone-it, my nose gear got blown off, so I'm going to shimmy forever," Blair said.

While its days to shimmy in flight may be over, the sons and daughters of the "First Lady," and generations of Air Force people to come, can see it in the near future at the Eglin Air Force Base Armament Museum. The "First Lady" will rest beside the B-52 and other planes that proved their mettle during Vietnam.

An era ended when the "First Lady" made its last flight before retiring at Duke Field, Fla., Sept. 10. The "First Lady" has flown for 40 years, and is the first production C-130. It was converted to an AC-130A gunship during the Vietnam War. The retirement also marks the formal end of the Air Force Reserve flying the AC-130A gunships.


Inhoud

Background and requirements Edit

The Korean War showed that World War II-era piston-engine transports—Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcars, Douglas C-47 Skytrains and Curtiss C-46 Commandos—were no longer adequate. Thus, on 2 February 1951, the United States Air Force issued a General Operating Requirement (GOR) for a new transport to Boeing, Douglas, Fairchild, Lockheed, Martin, Chase Aircraft, North American, Northrop, and Airlifts Inc.

The new transport would have a capacity of 92 passengers, 72 combat troops or 64 paratroopers in a cargo compartment that was approximately 41 ft (12 m) long, 9 ft (2.7 m) high, and 10 ft (3.0 m) wide. Unlike transports derived from passenger airliners, it was to be designed specifically as a combat transport with loading from a hinged loading ramp at the rear of the fuselage. A notable advance for large aircraft was the introduction of a turboprop powerplant, the Allison T56 which was developed for the C-130. It gave the aircraft greater range than a turbojet engine as it used less fuel. Turboprop engines also produced much more power for their weight than piston engines. However, the turboprop configuration chosen for the T56, with the propeller connected to the compressor, had the potential to cause structural failure of the aircraft if an engine failed. Safety devices had to be incorporated to reduce the excessive drag from a windmilling propeller. [4]

Design phase Edit

The Hercules resembled a larger four-engine version of the C-123 Provider with a similar wing and cargo ramp layout that evolved from the Chase XCG-20 Avitruc, which in turn, was first designed and flown as a cargo glider in 1947. [5] The Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter had rear ramps, which made it possible to drive vehicles onto the airplane (also possible with forward ramp on a C-124). The ramp on the Hercules was also used to airdrop cargo, which included a Low-altitude parachute-extraction system for Sheridan tanks and even dropping large improvised "daisy cutter" bombs. The new Lockheed cargo plane had a range of 1,100 nmi (1,270 mi 2,040 km) and it could operate from short and unprepared strips.

Fairchild, North American, Martin, and Northrop declined to participate. The remaining five companies tendered a total of ten designs: Lockheed two, Boeing one, Chase three, Douglas three, and Airlifts Inc. one. The contest was a close affair between the lighter of the two Lockheed (preliminary project designation L-206) proposals and a four-turboprop Douglas design.

The Lockheed design team was led by Willis Hawkins, starting with a 130-page proposal for the Lockheed L-206. [6] Hall Hibbard, Lockheed vice president and chief engineer, saw the proposal and directed it to Kelly Johnson, who did not care for the low-speed, unarmed aircraft, and remarked, "If you sign that letter, you will destroy the Lockheed Company." [6] Both Hibbard and Johnson signed the proposal and the company won the contract for the now-designated Model 82 on 2 July 1951. [7]

The first flight of the YC-130 prototype was made on 23 August 1954 from the Lockheed plant in Burbank, California. The aircraft, serial number 53-3397, was the second prototype, but the first of the two to fly. The YC-130 was piloted by Stanley Beltz and Roy Wimmer on its 61-minute flight to Edwards Air Force Base Jack Real and Dick Stanton served as flight engineers. Kelly Johnson flew chase in a Lockheed P2V Neptune. [8]

After the two prototypes were completed, production began in Marietta, Georgia, where over 2,300 C-130s have been built through 2009. [9]

The initial production model, the C-130A, was powered by Allison T56-A-9 turboprops with three-blade propellers and originally equipped with the blunt nose of the prototypes. Deliveries began in December 1956, continuing until the introduction of the C-130B model in 1959. Some A-models were equipped with skis and re-designated C-130D. As the C-130A became operational with Tactical Air Command (TAC), the C-130's lack of range became apparent and additional fuel capacity was added with wing pylon-mounted tanks outboard of the engines this added 6,000 lb (2,720 kg) of fuel capacity for a total capacity of 40,000 lb (18,140 kg). [10]

Improved versions Edit

The C-130B model was developed to complement the A-models that had previously been delivered, and incorporated new features, particularly increased fuel capacity in the form of auxiliary tanks built into the center wing section and an AC electrical system. Four-bladed Hamilton Standard propellers replaced the Aeroproducts three-blade propellers that distinguished the earlier A-models. The C-130B had ailerons operated by hydraulic pressure that was increased from 2,050 psi (14.1 MPa) to 3,000 psi (21 MPa), as well as uprated engines and four-blade propellers that were standard until the J-model.

The B model was originally intended to have "blown controls", a system which blows high pressure air over the control surfaces in order to improve their effectiveness during slow flight. It was tested on a NC-130B prototype aircraft with a pair of T-56 turbines providing high pressure air through a duct system to the control surfaces and flaps during landing. This greatly reduced landing speed to just 63 knots, and cut landing distance in half. The system never entered service because it did not improve takeoff performance by the same margin, making the landing performance pointless if the aircraft could not also take off from where it had landed. [11]

An electronic reconnaissance variant of the C-130B was designated C-130B-II. A total of 13 aircraft were converted. The C-130B-II was distinguished by its false external wing fuel tanks, which were disguised signals intelligence (SIGINT) receiver antennas. These pods were slightly larger than the standard wing tanks found on other C-130Bs. Most aircraft featured a swept blade antenna on the upper fuselage, as well as extra wire antennas between the vertical fin and upper fuselage not found on other C-130s. Radio call numbers on the tail of these aircraft were regularly changed so as to confuse observers and disguise their true mission.

The extended-range C-130E model entered service in 1962 after it was developed as an interim long-range transport for the Military Air Transport Service. Essentially a B-model, the new designation was the result of the installation of 1,360 US gal (5,150 L) Sargent Fletcher external fuel tanks under each wing's midsection and more powerful Allison T56-A-7A turboprops. The hydraulic boost pressure to the ailerons was reduced back to 2,050 psi (14.1 MPa) as a consequence of the external tanks' weight in the middle of the wingspan. The E model also featured structural improvements, avionics upgrades and a higher gross weight. Australia took delivery of 12 C130E Hercules during 1966–67 to supplement the 12 C-130A models already in service with the RAAF. Sweden and Spain fly the TP-84T version of the C-130E fitted for aerial refueling capability.

Die KC-130 tankers, originally C-130F procured for the US Marine Corps (USMC) in 1958 (under the designation GV-1) are equipped with a removable 3,600 US gal (13,626 L) stainless steel fuel tank carried inside the cargo compartment. The two wing-mounted hose and drogue aerial refueling pods each transfer up to 300 US gal per minute (1,136 L per minute) to two aircraft simultaneously, allowing for rapid cycle times of multiple-receiver aircraft formations, (a typical tanker formation of four aircraft in less than 30 minutes). The US Navy's C-130G has increased structural strength allowing higher gross weight operation.

Verdere ontwikkelings Redigeer

Die C-130H model has updated Allison T56-A-15 turboprops, a redesigned outer wing, updated avionics and other minor improvements. Later H. models had a new, fatigue-life-improved, center wing that was retrofitted to many earlier H-models. For structural reasons, some models are required to land with reduced amounts of fuel when carrying heavy cargo, reducing usable range. [12] The H model remains in widespread use with the United States Air Force (USAF) and many foreign air forces. Initial deliveries began in 1964 (to the RNZAF), remaining in production until 1996. An improved C-130H was introduced in 1974, with Australia purchasing 12 of type in 1978 to replace the original 12 C-130A models, which had first entered Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) service in 1958. The U.S. Coast Guard employs the HC-130H for long-range search and rescue, drug interdiction, illegal migrant patrols, homeland security, and logistics.

C-130H models produced from 1992 to 1996 were designated as C-130H3 by the USAF. The "3" denoting the third variation in design for the H series. Improvements included ring laser gyros for the INUs, GPS receivers, a partial glass cockpit (ADI and HSI instruments), a more capable APN-241 color radar, night vision device compatible instrument lighting, and an integrated radar and missile warning system. The electrical system upgrade included Generator Control Units (GCU) and Bus Switching units (BSU) to provide stable power to the more sensitive upgraded components. [13]

The equivalent model for export to the UK is the C-130K, known by the Royal Air Force (RAF) as the Hercules C.1. Die C-130H-30 (Hercules C.3 in RAF service) is a stretched version of the original Hercules, achieved by inserting a 100 in (2.54 m) plug aft of the cockpit and an 80 in (2.03 m) plug at the rear of the fuselage. A single C-130K was purchased by the Met Office for use by its Meteorological Research Flight, where it was classified as the Hercules W.2. This aircraft was heavily modified (with its most prominent feature being the long red and white striped atmospheric probe on the nose and the move of the weather radar into a pod above the forward fuselage). This aircraft, named Snoopy, was withdrawn in 2001 and was then modified by Marshall of Cambridge Aerospace as flight-testbed for the A400M turbine engine, the TP400. The C-130K is used by the RAF Falcons for parachute drops. Three C-130Ks (Hercules C Mk.1P) were upgraded and sold to the Austrian Air Force in 2002. [14]

Enhanced models Edit

Die MC-130E Combat Talon was developed for the USAF during the Vietnam War to support special operations missions in Southeast Asia, and led to both the MC-130H Combat Talon II as well as a family of other special missions aircraft. 37 of the earliest models currently operating with the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) are scheduled to be replaced by new-production MC-130J versions. The EC-130 Commando Solo is another special missions variant within AFSOC, albeit operated solely by an AFSOC-gained wing in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, and is a psychological operations/information operations (PSYOP/IO) platform equipped as an aerial radio station and television stations able to transmit messaging over commercial frequencies. Other versions of the EC-130, most notably the EC-130H Compass Call, are also special variants, but are assigned to the Air Combat Command (ACC). The AC-130 gunship was first developed during the Vietnam War to provide close air support and other ground-attack duties.

Die HC-130 is a family of long-range search and rescue variants used by the USAF and the U.S. Coast Guard. Equipped for deep deployment of Pararescuemen (PJs), survival equipment, and (in the case of USAF versions) aerial refueling of combat rescue helicopters, HC-130s are usually the on-scene command aircraft for combat SAR missions (USAF only) and non-combat SAR (USAF and USCG). Early USAF versions were also equipped with the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system, designed to pull a person off the ground using a wire strung from a helium balloon. The John Wayne movie The Green Berets features its use. The Fulton system was later removed when aerial refueling of helicopters proved safer and more versatile. Die fliek Die perfekte storm depicts a real life SAR mission involving aerial refueling of a New York Air National Guard HH-60G by a New York Air National Guard HC-130P.

Die C-130R en C-130T are U.S. Navy and USMC models, both equipped with underwing external fuel tanks. The USN C-130T is similar, but has additional avionics improvements. In both models, aircraft are equipped with Allison T56-A-16 engines. The USMC versions are designated KC-130R of KC-130T when equipped with underwing refueling pods and pylons and are fully night vision system compatible.

The RC-130 is a reconnaissance version. A single example is used by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, the aircraft having originally been sold to the former Imperial Iranian Air Force.

Die Lockheed L-100 (L-382) is a civilian variant, equivalent to a C-130E model without military equipment. The L-100 also has two stretched versions.

Next generation Edit

In the 1970s, Lockheed proposed a C-130 variant with turbofan engines rather than turboprops, but the U.S. Air Force preferred the takeoff performance of the existing aircraft. In the 1980s, the C-130 was intended to be replaced by the Advanced Medium STOL Transport project. The project was canceled and the C-130 has remained in production.

Building on lessons learned, Lockheed Martin modified a commercial variant of the C-130 into a High Technology Test Bed (HTTB). This test aircraft set numerous short takeoff and landing performance records and significantly expanded the database for future derivatives of the C-130. [15] Modifications made to the HTTB included extended chord ailerons, a long chord rudder, fast-acting double-slotted trailing edge flaps, a high-camber wing leading edge extension, a larger dorsal fin and dorsal fins, the addition of three spoiler panels to each wing upper surface, a long-stroke main and nose landing gear system, and changes to the flight controls and a change from direct mechanical linkages assisted by hydraulic boost, to fully powered controls, in which the mechanical linkages from the flight station controls operated only the hydraulic control valves of the appropriate boost unit. [16] The HTTB first flew on 19 June 1984, with civil registration of N130X. After demonstrating many new technologies, some of which were applied to the C-130J, the HTTB was lost in a fatal accident on 3 February 1993, at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, in Marietta, Georgia. [17] The crash was attributed to disengagement of the rudder fly-by-wire flight control system, resulting in a total loss of rudder control capability while conducting ground minimum control speed tests (Vmcg). The disengagement was a result of the inadequate design of the rudder's integrated actuator package by its manufacturer the operator's insufficient system safety review failed to consider the consequences of the inadequate design to all operating regimes. A factor which contributed to the accident was the flight crew's lack of engineering flight test training. [18]

In the 1990s, the improved C-130J Super Hercules was developed by Lockheed (later Lockheed Martin). This model is the newest version and the only model in production. Externally similar to the classic Hercules in general appearance, the J model has new turboprop engines, six-bladed propellers, digital avionics, and other new systems. [ aanhaling nodig ]

Upgrades and changes Edit

In 2000, Boeing was awarded a US$1.4 billion contract to develop an Avionics Modernization Program kit for the C-130. The program was beset with delays and cost overruns until project restructuring in 2007. [19] On 2 September 2009, Bloomberg news reported that the planned Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) upgrade to the older C-130s would be dropped to provide more funds for the F-35, CV-22 and airborne tanker replacement programs. [20] However, in June 2010, Department of Defense approved funding for the initial production of the AMP upgrade kits. [21] [22] Under the terms of this agreement, the USAF has cleared Boeing to begin low-rate initial production (LRIP) for the C-130 AMP. A total of 198 aircraft are expected to feature the AMP upgrade. The current cost per aircraft is US$14 million although Boeing expects that this price will drop to US$7 million for the 69th aircraft. [19]

In the 2000s, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force began outfitting and retrofitting C-130s with the eight-blade UTC Aerospace Systems NP2000 propellers. [23]

An engine enhancement program saving fuel and providing lower temperatures in the T56 engine has been approved, and the US Air Force expects to save $2 billion and extend the fleet life. [24]

Replacement Edit

In October 2010, the Air Force released a capabilities request for information (CRFI) for the development of a new airlifter to replace the C-130. The new aircraft is to carry a 190 percent greater payload and assume the mission of mounted vertical maneuver (MVM). The greater payload and mission would enable it to carry medium-weight armored vehicles and drop them off at locations without long runways. Various options are being considered, including new or upgraded fixed-wing designs, rotorcraft, tiltrotors, or even an airship. Development could start in 2014, and become operational by 2024. The C-130 fleet of around 450 planes would be replaced by only 250 aircraft. [25] The Air Force had attempted to replace the C-130 in the 1970s through the Advanced Medium STOL Transport project, which resulted in the C-17 Globemaster III that instead replaced the C-141 Starlifter. [26] The Air Force Research Laboratory funded Lockheed and Boeing demonstrators for the Speed Agile concept, which had the goal of making a STOL aircraft that can take off and land at speeds as low as 70 kn (130 km/h 81 mph) on airfields less than 2,000 ft (610 m) long and cruise at Mach 0.8-plus. Boeing's design used upper-surface blowing from embedded engines on the inboard wing and blown flaps for circulation control on the outboard wing. Lockheed's design also used blown flaps outboard, but inboard used patented reversing ejector nozzles. Boeing's design completed over 2,000 hours of windtunnel tests in late 2009. It was a 5 percent-scale model of a narrowbody design with a 55,000 lb (25,000 kg) payload. When the AFRL increased the payload requirement to 65,000 lb (29,000 kg), they tested a 5 percent-scale model of a widebody design with a 303,000 lb (137,000 kg) take-off gross weight and an "A400M-size" 158 in (4.0 m) wide cargo box. It would be powered by four IAE V2533 turbofans. [27] In August 2011, the AFRL released pictures of the Lockheed Speed Agile concept demonstrator. A 23% scale model went through wind tunnel tests to demonstrate its hybrid powered lift, which combines a low drag airframe with simple mechanical assembly to reduce weight and better aerodynamics. The model had four engines, including two Williams FJ44 turbofans. [26] [28] On 26 March 2013, Boeing was granted a patent for its swept-wing powered lift aircraft. [29]

In January 2014, Air Mobility Command, Air Force Materiel Command and the Air Force Research Lab were in the early stages of defining requirements for the C-X next generation airlifter program [30] to replace both the C-130 and C-17. An aircraft would be produced from the early 2030s to the 2040s. If requirements are decided for operating in contested airspace, Air Force procurement of C-130s would end by the end of the decade to not have them serviceable by the 2030s and operated when they cannot perform in that environment. Development of the airlifter depends heavily on the Army's "tactical and operational maneuver" plans. Two different cargo planes could still be created to separately perform tactical and strategic missions, but which course to pursue is to be decided before C-17s need to be retired. [31] Brazil is replacing its C-130s with 28 new Embraer KC-390s. [32] Portugal is doing the same. [33]


Historiese momentopname

In 1987, Rockwell International&rsquos North American division began to modify the C-130 Hercules airframe, manufactured by the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, for the AC-130 gunship.

The newest version, the AC-130U Spectre gunship, replaced the original AC-130A and represented a major advancement. It uses the latest sensor technologies and fire control systems and features increased weapon stand-off range and improved first-shot accuracy. A state-of-the-art suite of electronic and infrared countermeasures greatly enhance the AC-130U's survivability against modern threats.

The AC-130U gunship's All Light Level Television system and its infrared detection system can both scan a full 360 degrees, allowing the gunship crew to search for and find targets much faster. The television also incorporates a laser target designator and rangefinder that allows the AC-130U to designate targets for other aircraft armed with smart, laser-guided weapons. The AC-130U also incorporates the Night Vision Imaging System, with compatible lighting throughout, to support use of night vision equipment by its crew. Its strike radar provides the first gunship capability for all-weather/night target acquisition and strike.


AC-130A Spectre "Ghost Rider"

The AC-130A Spectre, a heavily armed ground attack aircraft, is one of more than 70 versions of the propeller-driven C-130 Hercules built by Lockheed in Marietta, GA. Other variants include transport, refueling, weather data, command, electronic warfare, firefighting, and special operations.

The model name “Spectre” refers to a ghostly aberration or something widely feared as a possible unpleasant or dangerous occurrence. With two 20mm Vulcan cannons, two 7.62mm miniguns and two 40mm Bofors cannons, “Ghost Rider” was a welcome site for friendly ground troops and terrifying for enemy forces. A crew of 14 operated the gunship as it performed “pylon turns” to keep all the firepower on one side of the plane directed towards targets. Sensors, including forward-looking infrared radar (FLIR), radar, low-light TV (night vision), and Black Crow (detected electrical signals in running engines) were used to find enemy targets hidden from visual sighting.

The C-130 has operated on all 7 continents, including Antarctica with skis attached to the wheels, and played an essential role in military, humanitarian, and scientific missions around the world. It has even landed and taken off from an aircraft carrier during testing for carrier resupply, but the idea was scrapped due to the heavy weight of the plane stressing the panels of the flight deck.

The AC-130 (Bu # 54-1623) on display at the Aviation History and Technology Center is the 10th production C-130 (12th overall including two prototypes) and the second converted to a gunship. The aircraft served over 4,000 combat hours in Vietnam and sustained damage on multiple occasions. The “flying tank” was repaired and went on to protect ground forces in Operations Just Cause, Desert Storm, and Uphold Democracy before being retired in 1995.


Development of the AC-130 begun with a requirement in the Vietnam War, where an aircraft with more enhanced ground-attack capabilities was needed. The C-130 Hercules was chosen to be the aircraft the next gunship is based on. Die "Gunship II" called program begun with a JC-130, built for conversion into the first AC-130 prototype, which was equipped with four M61 Vulcan 20mm Gatling Guns and Minigun Machine Guns. The sensors it used were a night vision telescope, forward looking infrared (FLIR) installed in the forward part of the left wheel and a laser distance ladder. Testing in Vietnam was very successful, so that seven additional JC-130 were converted into AC-130 and those had more advanced avionics and electronics than the first aircraft. In 1968 they were stationed at the 16th Special Operation Squadron.

During the program "Project Surprise Package“ a C-130A was converted into an AC-130 with different armament in comparison to the conventional AC-130. The two Vulcan Gatlings on the aircraft´s tail were removed and replaced by two Bofors 40 mm guns. And the electronics were greatly enhanced. And after the "Pave Ponto“ program nine additional C-130A were converted like on the "Project Surprise Package“. The resulting AC-130 is equipped with two Miniguns, two M61 Vulcan Gatlings and two Bofors 40 mm guns. The avionics were supplemented by the ASD-5 a Magnetic anomaly detector, an AAD-7 forward looking infrared sensor, an AVQ-7 searchlight and the APQ-150 Beacon tracking radar.

The heavy armed aircraft that were used in Vietnam, were only the eleven AC-130E built during the "Pave Spectre" program, while on the new Gunships (69-6567 to 69-6577) the two Bofors 40 mm guns were removed and replaced by a 105 mm Howitzer cannons. The aircraft entered service in 1971 and showed to be very useful. They were called AC-130H Spectre and they were equiped with the new Allison-T56-A-15-engines.The Spectre was first used in 1989 in Panama during Operation Just Cause and during the Second Gulf War in 1991. In the Battle of Khafji a Spectre was downed by Iraqi Air Defenses, because it was used in daylight, where it was not designed for. That was the only known loss of an AC-130 Gunship.

Die AC-130U Spooky was built in the 1990s, making it a very modern gunship. It is equipped with the radar of the F-15E Strike Eagle, a 25 mm Gatling gun, a Bofors 40 mm gun and a 105 mm Howitzer cannon. The highly advanced avionic allow it to hit even moving ground targets easely. This derivative was used during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, to perform close air support. In January 2007, a Spooky attacked probable terrorists in the south Somalian village Badel, where many people got killed. During Air Strike missions against the dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi, Spookys were used as well.

The thermographic camera of the AC-130 is able to track targets on day and night and at all weather conditions.

The latest AC-130 variants are equipped with lasers, which greatly enhance the AC-130's capability at sending massive damage to enemy units.


Specifications [ edit | wysig bron]

Data van USAF Fact Sheet Β]

General characteristics

  • Bemanning: 13
    • Officers: 5 (pilot, copilot, navigator, fire control officer, electronic warfare officer)
    • Enlisted: 8 (flight engineer, TV operator, infrared detection set operator, loadmaster, four aerial gunners)
    • Maksimum spoed: 260 knots (300 mph, 480 km/h)
    • Reeks: 2,200 nm (2,530 mi, 4,070 km)
    • Service ceiling: 30,000 ft (9,100 m)

    Bewapening [wysig | wysig bron]

    Gunners loading 40 mm cannon (background) and 105 mm cannon (foreground)


    Kyk die video: 172 AC-130 SPECTRE ITALERI kit, completed built model